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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Passport (07/25/05)

TITLE: Permission to exit


I stand at the border between this life and the next.

I will tell Him how I feel, how it hurts to live, how I can’t go on anymore. I will tell Him when it is my turn to state my cause…I will tell Him that…

…I wish I could feel real, live who I really am. I am running round and round in circles grasping at straws, frantically hoping I will finally grab something to make the spinning stop.

Depression makes you feel rummaged. Thrown inside out, poked around in. Raped by the cruelty of life. I have nothing more to give. I have no words, no life, no breath. I feel expelled.

Suspended from living, hung out to dry. It feels like I am being punished for my inadequacies, obtuse choices and inconvenient birth. A white face stares back at me from behind the mirror, with deep hollow eyes that betray their fake smile. I touch the glass and feel myself, cold and smooth. Lifeless, yet breathing. My flesh carries a dying soul of a person I do not know.

The lost girl in the mirror glances at loneliness staring back at her, cries unseen tears, and reaches out to a forgotten image. Fading into darkness, my soul wants to disintegrate, disappear, move away. I walk amongst people and places, an emotionless shell carrying death while faking life. Touching little, absorbing nothing, I wander aimlessly. Smiling occasionally without meaning, I pretend to breathe. Ignoring the girl in all the mirrors I pass, hoping that one day she will no longer come, and I can finally disappear.

I want to get out of here, I want to go home to a place where there is no sadness, no mirrors, no unfair expectations.

I reach the end of the queue and stand before Him. I fall down on my knees.

I reach up to God in agony, tears streaming down my face. “Please let me come home!” I cry.

He holds my passport in His hands, only He can set the stamp with date and time when I enter heaven. He looks at me, hears my cries, and looks down at my passport again.
“Many times you have tried to exit your life on earth and enter here.”
“Yes, my Lord.”
“Each time you get turned down.”
“Yes, my Lord.”
God reaches down to me, looking me directly in the eyes.
“Why do you think you are never allowed to enter?”
“Because the time isn’t right?”
“Try again.”
“Because I have more to do on earth?”
“Think deeper than that.”
“Because you don’t want me here?”
“Of course not.”
“Because if I give in to depression I am a coward?”
“No, my dear child, you are not a coward for not wanting to live.”
“Well…why can’t you stamp my passport then? Why don’t you give me permission to leave earth?”
“Because when you are sad, I am there. When you cry, I wipe away your tears. When depression eats you from the inside out, I am fighting it with you. Even when you can’t see Me, I am within you, and they see Me. You don’t have to do anything, or say anything. They see Me.”
“Who sees You?”
“They do”, God answered as He pointed to a box.
I was confused; who could possibly live in a box that small?
“You can’t leave until I stamp your passport, and I can only do that when this box is empty. If I do that now I will have to throw all these away”, He answered, opening the box.
I peered inside inquisitively.
Passports, hundreds of passports, with faces I did not know. Travellers that could only pass through this border if I didn’t.
Too many would never enter heaven if I chose not to live.

I look into His loving eyes that hold my every thought.
“Thank You”, I whisper.
He smiles.
I turn around and walk past the crowds of people waiting in the queue. Old people, young people, children, babies.
I choose to live.
I choose to enjoy the life given me.
I choose to look in the mirror and smile.
I choose, because He chose me.

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This article has been read 996 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Watson Owen08/01/05
What a beautiful and evocative portrait of depression and of our loving Father God!
Elisabeth Seiter08/01/05
A wonderful insight into how our lives touch others...the ripple effect.
Nina Phillips08/01/05
Very nice, well done.
God bless ya, littlelight
Lisa Baldwin08/01/05
Beautiful. From someone who has been there before, thank you for writing this.
Debra Brand08/02/05
Lovely! How we all yearn to see His face and yet not until He wills it.
Shari Armstrong 08/02/05
WOW! This is a very powerful piece of writing!
Joanne Malley08/06/05
Well crafted and nicely written piece. I enjoyed where you went with this. In my opinion, you don't seem like a beginner writer. Really nice work! :)
Sally Hanan08/07/05
You did a good job here getting inside the main character's skin.
Crista Darr08/07/05
Excellent, heart felt piece of writing. A winner in my book:)
Sandra Petersen 08/07/05
Can I just tell you that I needed to read this about now? Sometimes I feel like the girl in paragraphs 3, 4, and 6. I can identify exactly with those feelings! One of my favorite sentences began "The lost girl in the mirror glances at loneliness staring back at her,..." Wow! And then the message of the story!! How many people have I been put on earth to impact, planting, maybe watering the seeds that leads to salvation? Definitely deserves a win!
Anita Neuman08/08/05
From someone who has been through depression (and prays to never go through it again) you have really captured what it feels like. Thank you for expressing this in such a vivid, articulate way. And congratulations on a well-deserved win!
M'Kayla Kelly08/08/05
Wow. You took my breath away. This is quite an amazing piece of work. Keep it coming and congrats on a righteous win!!!
Shari Brian08/08/05
What a well-deserved win! Congratulations. Thank you for sharing on such a deep level. God will use this story to bless so many people!
Deborah Porter 08/08/05
Michelle, what a great entrance to FaithWriters and the Challenge! Congratulations on your 8th place in the Editors' Choice Awards as well as your 1st place in the Level 1 Challenge Awards. An excellent achievement for a first time entrant. So now it's time for you to move on up to Level 2. Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
Deborah Porter 08/08/05
Sorry about that Michelle, I should say, your "7th Place" in the Editors' Choice. :-)

Love, Deb
Bill Shurkey08/09/05
Your story kept me spellbound and reading till the end. I was surprised to learn that you are only at level 1.
I've always believed that we Christians 'pay' for our ministries. Only by living through something can we effectively minister to others going through the same thing. For you and the others who have survived depression, you have fields that are ripe for the harvest. A great piece of writing and a tremendous testimony of spiritual renewal.
Jan Warrick08/12/05
Michelle, this is a very touching piece! I know this will inspire all who read it.
Deborah Porter 10/18/05
Hi Michelle. I'm just preparing the new FaithWriters' Anthology and need a short (two to three sentences) bio piece to include in a new section for the book - "Meet Our Authors." The bio notes need to be written in the third person. Could you please send it to me via a Private Message? Thanks so much. Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
Linda Brown11/06/05
So well written.... so many souls depending on us staying here until it is time for our passport to be stamped. Well deserved win! Thank you for sharing and putting the focus on the Kingdom and the importanve of being saved, regardless of how we feel.
Deborah Porter 11/21/05
Hi Michelle. I need to get in touch with you urgently about your winning entry. FaithWriters have not received your release form to allow it to be used in the Journey of Faith Anthology. Please contact me at debporter@breathfreshair.org about this URGENTLY to let me know whether you want your story to appear in the book or not. If they don't get the release, we have to use the next entry in line. Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
Amy Michelle Wiley 03/15/06
I read this in the book and as someone who struggled with depression, it really touched me. Thank you.

Also, could you contact me through PM (you can PM me even if you don't subscribe)? I am working on a special project and would like your help. Thanks!--Amy